BESIX Watpac commenced construction works in 2022 following an extensive Early Contractor Involvement phase. Once complete, Project Banksia will deliver a state-of-the-art facility that uses innovative cell-based technology to produce influenza vaccines for use in both influenza pandemics and seasonal vaccination programs. This centre represents a renewed commitment towards public health in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working as a graduate on Project Banksia has seen a huge learning curve in my career development. I've been able to improve my planning, coordination and communication skills to overcome hurdles and really value the relationships I've built on site."
- Rachel David, BESIX Watpac Site Engineer
CSL Seqirus is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSL Limited and is the world’s second largest influenza vaccine provider Project Banksia will see the delivery of a new world-class biotech manufacturing facility, built in Tullamarine, Australia.
The state-of-the-art facility will use innovative cell-based technology to produce influenza vaccines for use in both influenza pandemics and seasonal vaccination programs – and will be the only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
The facility will also manufacture CSL Seqirus’ proprietary adjuvant MF59® - a substance added to some vaccines to improve immune response and to reduce the amount of antigen needed for each vaccine, enabling more doses to be manufactured more rapidly.
In addition, the facility will produce unique products important to Australia’s public health needs – including antivenom for Australian snakes, spiders and marine creatures, and the world’s only human vaccine for Q-Fever.
The centre will include PC2 and PC3 laboratories, black and clean utilities, warehousing, administration offices, an onsite cafeteria and quality control facilities.
The product manufactured at this facility will support domestic and export markets and create a supply chain worth estimated to be worth more than $300 million annually.
Construction works underway
In 2020, BESIX Watpac was engaged by CSL Seqirus under an ECI partnership to identify and evaluate value engineering opportunities across multiple disciplines to bring the project in line with its allocated budget.
Construction is well underway on the facility, which is located within the Melbourne Airport Business Park for maximum security and freight logistics. This brings it under federal jurisdiction and requires an extra layer of design and stakeholder management with Melbourne Airport Authority.
The BESIX Watpac team is managing several project challenges. This includes the management of complex intersecting trade packages and a peak workforce of 1,500 people. As a ‘Greenfields’ site, surrounding infrastructure, roads and services need to be upgraded. The delivery team is also working to a ‘zero clash’ construction model. This model coordinates complex client procured manufacturing process equipment with groundworks and hazards to reduce risk and delays, as well ensuring overseas sourced equipment and specialty equipment arrive on time.
A collaborative contract model has led to an early decision to co-locate the more than one hundred BESIX Watpac staff and Seqirus teams in a dedicated Project Management Office where client and builder work closely to achieve the project goals.
The project is currently tracking to achieve Green Star targets and has a 3 per cent Indigenous workforce target. The project has engaged with several social procurement providers and hosts an Indigenous Business Forum to connect First Nations business locally in partnership with Kinaway Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.